Ex-Google employee Andre Weyher recently went on record advising that webmasters spend less time worrying about search engine optimization (SEO) and more time developing and curating quality content. According to Weyher, putting too much focus on SEO can be counterproductive, as Google's super secret algorithms are designed to penalize websites that attract search engine crawlers.
When Google updated its search algorithm a few months back, many so-called content farms saw their search ranking take a big hit. One site that feels it was unfairly targeted is now claiming that by making a few changes (some of them very minor) they were able to claw back significant search traffic. In fact, HubPages says it has gotten back to its pre-update traffic levels.
Early in the year, Google began addressing complaints that their search results had become polluted with poor quality links from so-called "content farms". The search giant rolled out an update to its search algorithm known internally as "Panda" at the end of February. Now Experian Hitwise, a web traffic research firm, has directly measured the impact of the change. Noted content farm Demand Media has taken a 40% traffic hit since the update happened.
According to Google's Matt Cutts, a new search algorithm is going live as we speak that will be the first step in combating the spam search results problem. This change to the algorithm specifically targets sites that copy or scrape content from other sites, and amp it up with Google-friendly SEO. Now users should be more likely to see results from the site that a piece of content originates on, instead of a spam site that just copied it.
This change will only directly affect about 2% of searches, and only 0.5% will change dramatically enough for most people to notice. Clearly, this is not meant to completely solve the issue of highly efficient SEO spam. But it is a solid first step, and we're happy to see it get rolled out so quickly. More algorithm changes should come along in the future as well.
After Obama’s website, black hats have now managed to sow the seeds of deceit in Google video search results. Security firm Trend Micro has discovered that that about 400,000 queries trigger Google Video search results that “have a single redirection point, and one that eventually leads to malware download and execution.” The black hats have been able to manipulate search results to their advantage using simple SEO techniques. For this purpose, they have reserved several domains and populated them with keywords.
According to Trend Micro, the malware executable, dubbed WORM_AQPLAY.A, proliferates using removable and network drives. The malware executable is disguised as an Adobe Flash installer. The malware only prompts the user to download the malicious Flash installer when he reaches one of the malefic video websites being run by the black hats.